Karl Dorrell Hired as Colorado HC; 5-Year, $18M Contract Proposed

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured Columnist

STANFORD, CA - SEPTEMBER 1:  Head coach Karl Dorrell of the UCLA Bruins signals a timeout during the UCLA 45-17 defetat of the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium September 1, 2007 in Stanford, California.   (Photo by John Medina/Getty Images)
John Medina/Getty Images

The University of Colorado has decided on Miami Dolphins wide receivers coach Karl Dorrell to be its new head football coach, the school announced Sunday.

Colorado athletic director Rick George has proposed a five-year, $18 million contract for Dorrell, which must be approved by the Board of Regents. The proposed deal would provide Dorrell with a $3.2 million salary in Year 1 and a $200,000 annual raise in the subsequent years.

Dorrell would also have a $3.8 million pool to work with for assistant coaches.

The position became vacant Feb. 12 when Mel Tucker left to take the job at Michigan State following the retirement of Mark Dantonio.

Dorrell, 56, was hired as the Dolphins wide receivers coach last season after spending the previous four seasons as the New York Jets wide receivers coach.

While Dorrell has also been an assistant for the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos, he is perhaps best known for his collegiate coaching resume. Most notably, Dorrell was the head coach at UCLA for five seasons from 2003-07.

Dorrell went 35-27 and led the Bruins to a bowl appearance in each of his five seasons at the helm. His best campaign came in 2005, when UCLA went 10-2 and won the Sun Bowl.

In addition to coaching at UCLA, Dorrell was an assistant at Colorado, UCF, Northern Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and Vanderbilt.

Dorrell was a wide receivers coach for the Buffaloes from 1992-93 and then offensive coordinator from 1995-98.

He was present for some of the glory days of Colorado football, as the Buffaloes went 10-2 in both 1995 and 1996 when he coached under Rick Neuheisel.

Colorado was known to be looking to its past as part of the head coaching search, with the primary target being Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who played running back for the Buffaloes from 1987-90.

However, ESPN reported Friday that Bieniemy had withdrawn himself from consideration for the job.

Dorrell will have his work cut out for him at Colorado. The Buffaloes have finished 5-7 in each of the past three seasons and have just one bowl appearance in the past 12 campaigns.

With quarterback Steven Montez graduating and wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. entering the NFL draft, it could be another rebuilding year for Colorado in 2020, especially since Dorrell will have to put together a coaching staff and finalize a recruiting class on short notice.